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Free UC Riverside Program Gears Up Young Women for Careers in Technology

From creating the latest smartphones to making self-driving cars, tech jobs are among the highest paying and fastest growing in the U.S. economy. There are currently 500,000 open jobs in computing, but the number of computer science graduates falls short—just 50,000 each year, and, of those, only one in five are women.

A new program created by the University of California, Riverside and Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) aims to introduce coding and computer science to local high school students and promote diversity, and notably female participation, in these fields. The program is inspired by CS For All, an initiative developed by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Education to empower all American students to become active citizens in our technology-driven world. The program will launch this summer, providing free one-week courses to 80 high school students from RUSD. The intensive courses will run twice, from June 19-23 and from June 26-30. Applications are due by April 26 and students can apply online or by calling 951-790-2633 (English speakers) or 951-878-0411 (Spanish speakers).

Angelov Farooq, founding director of the UCR Center for Economic Development and Innovation in the Office of Research and Economic Development and a member of the RUSD Board of Education, is leading the effort. He said similar programs in other parts of the country have been shown to increase the number of students, particularly girls and underrepresented minorities, who study computer science and go on to earn undergraduate degrees in the field.

“We have to emphasize technology and coding as an attainable career path for all students and encourage diversity in these fields because these are future-proof fields that will continue to grow and offer a wide spectrum of fulfilling and high-paying jobs,” Farooq said.

Farooq said he is particularly concerned about the lack of women from underrepresented and low-income families in the technology industry, a loss that would be acute in the Inland Empire. Today, less than 5 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computer science are awarded to minority women.

During the program, attendees will get a hands-on, intensive programming experience, including building apps from scratch, touring engineering labs, and meeting with computer science professors in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering.

“This is especially a great opportunity for girls to learn a new skill, be introduced to different fields in computer science, and make new friends, all in a comfortable environment,” said Kelly Downey, a computer science lecturer and lead instructor at the camp. “I am excited to teach the next generation of problem solvers computer programming skills that they can use in inventive and creative ways.”

Downey said at the end of the week, participants will walk away with new programming skills, a portfolio of apps they made, and an excitement for what can be done in the field of computer science. For more information, visit the CS For All website.


New Loma Linda University Clinic Will Provide Care to Hepatology Patients in Nevada

Loma Linda University Health is now meeting a medical need in neighboring Nevada.

Loma Linda University Transplantation Institute recently opened a satellite clinic in Las Vegas for comprehensive liver disease management to care for patients.

The state of Nevada does not currently have a liver transplant program, according to Juan Ramirez Jr., director of referral and business development for the Transplantation Institute. 

He said, “Many Loma Linda patients reside in Nevada and drive to Loma Linda for their regular clinic appointments, and we wanted to find a way to provide care to these patients in their own community.”

The Transplantation Institute serves adult and pediatric patients not only from the Inland Empire and Southern California, but also Central California, Las Vegas and beyond. The institute performs heart, kidney, liver and pancreas transplants.

The Las Vegas liver clinic opened its doors in February, allowing patients the opportunity to see their hepatology care team in their own community, ultimately decreasing the number of trips they make to Loma Linda.

General hepatology care, such as treatment of viral hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, is offered in addition to serving liver transplant patients. Patients who may need a liver transplant will still make periodic visits to Loma Linda, including for the operation itself.

The 2,182-square-foot clinic offers five exam rooms and is staffed five days a week, by nurse practitioner Inna Goldvarg, APRN, who brings years of experience in hepatology care. Michael Volk, MD, medical director for liver care at LLU Transplantation Institute, supervises the clinic and cares for patients weekly via videoconference and monthly in person.

Located at 2020 Goldring Ave., Suite 506, Las Vegas, the clinic can be called at 702-823-0004.

Resolve to Rise Celebrates #SAAPM by Encouraging Communities to Stand Their Ground

HAWTHRONE, CA- Resolve to Rise held its first annual symposium entitled “Stand Your Ground –Fighting Sexual Assault Together,” at the Hawthorne Memorial Center, this past Saturday. With the month of April being observed as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (#SAAPM), Yolanda Dunn (founding Director of the non-profit) birthed an event that spoke to the subject through raising awareness, education, empowerment and prevention.

As a survivor of sexual assault, Dunn is passionate about taking the necessary steps to inform the community of the widespread issue. She explains the importance of the event saying, “It’s important to me to try to prevent sex crimes from happening to other families and prevent them from enduring the same emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual trauma that my…daughter and I have endured.”

According to RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every eight minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”” Dunn, 37, asserts her goal is to continue to raise awareness in the community and bring them together to stand and be able to be a voice to those that don’t have a voice…report crime and also be more vigilant of their own surroundings.

Officer, Christina Chiarello, Special Victim’s Detective at Hawthorne High School opened the event with a presentation about the subject matter. During her presentation, she expressed that sexual assault amongst high school students is common and many times the victims aren’t aware they’ve been victimized.

Panelist, Dr. Sonya Smith, Director of Pupil Personnel Services for the Hawthorne School District, argued amongst the panel the importance of listening to the victim. Dr. Smith further exclaimed that she, too is a survivor of sexual assault. Like Dr. Smith, panelist Tika Thornton is also a survivor. She briefly shared her story about being a victim of sexual abuse starting at age six. She further disclosed that she was also a victim of sex trafficking from 12 – 18 years of age. Currently, she is the Crisis Response Case Manager for a non-profit organization called Journey Out. She says, “I use my pain as power.”

During the panel discussion, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney, Craig Rouviere and Dr. Vanessa Hurwitz (Psychologist at Harbor UCLA) provided their take on how to communicate and understand someone who has been sexually abused. Attorney Rouviere provided the best way to approach someone who has been sexually assaulted is to build a rapport and identify with them. Dr. Hurwitz debated that sexual assaulted victims sometime suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Dr. Hurwitz explains “People with PTSD are at greater risk of being assaulted, again…it’s difficult for [them] to [identify] a threat.”

City officials Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, Councilwoman Angie Reyes English, Councilwoman Olivia Valentine, Councilman Milo Michelin and Hawthorne Police Chief, Robert Fager were all in attendance to support the cause. Toward the close of the event, pro MMA fighter, boxer, kick-boxer and owner of Systems Training Center (a Krav Maga self-defense training studio), Marcus Kowal, took the stage to demonstrate defense strategies for certain attacks. He also spoke about the death of his 15-month-old son, Liam, who was killed by a drunk driver in Sept. 2016. Since the tragedy, Kowal and his wife started Liam’s Life (www.liamslife.org); a non-profit whose mission is to change the social culture toward drinking and driving; “I will die fighting for my son,” he declared.

Following Kowal’s presentation, Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, presented Kowal with a donation to Liam’s Life Foundation. Closing remarks were provided by Resolve to Rise’s founding Director, Yolanda Dunn. She gave thanks to all sponsors, supporters, vendors and event committee (Hawthorne Police Department, Mayor Pro-Tem, Haidar Awad, Systems Training Center, Target, Costco, Resolve to Rise, New Star Family Justice Center, Ooh ahh Productions, LW Special Events Management, Underground PR, HCTV 22, Stella Grafx, Trader Joe’s, NorthGate Market, Food 4 Less, Ralphs and the YWCA).

About Resolve to Rise – Resolve to Rise is dedicated to ensuring the welfare, wellness and well-being of children, adolescents and adults by raising awareness against sexual assault. We exist to empower children, families, schools, communities and survivors to rise above the stigma and aim to live fulfilled lives. To learn more about the organization, or to make a donation, visit www.resolvetorise.org

If you, or someone you know is eing sexually abused, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4673 (24/7).